Kevin Spacey Accuser Denies Manipulating Text Messages About Alleged Assault

During a hearing on Monday, the accuser spoke out for the first time against Kevin Spacey and denied altering text messages and other information from the night of the alleged incident

The man who claims that actor Kevin Spacey groped him at a Nantucket bar in 2016, when he was 18, spoke out publicly for the first time at a hearing Monday in Nantucket District Court.

Following the 40-minute testimony — during which he denied altering text messages and other information from the night of the alleged incident, and said he never received the phone back from law enforcement officials, to whom the device was turned over — the accuser, now 20, invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

That, according to Judge Thomas Barrett, means the testimony previously given by the man — a college senior — would be stricken.

Spacey’s attorney, Alan Jackson, asked the judge to dismiss the case immediately, saying if the accuser does not testify — coupled with the missing phone — proceeding with the case would be a waste of time and money for all involved.

Barrett said that while the criminal charges against Spacey, 59, for indecent assault and battery “may well be dismissed,” they were “not going to be dismissed today.” Spacey has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The next hearing—– provided the case continues — is on July 31.

Prosecutor Brian Glenny told the judge he and his colleagues “certainly have to consider” whether they want to proceed with the case, but were not prepared to do so on Monday.

The latest hearing — which Spacey did not attend — comes on the heels of the withdrawal of a civil case against Spacey brought by the alleged victim, whose mother, former Boston TV news anchor Heather Unruh, said Monday in court was not the result of any settlement.

Unruh and the accuser’s father, William “Nick” Little, both took the stand Monday and both claimed they had not seen the phone since it was turned over to the police on Dec. 29, 2017. But State Police Trooper Gerald Donovan testified at the hearing that the phone was returned to the family on Dec. 18, 2017.

Unruh admitted to deleting some videos from her son’s phone before handing it over to police — more than a year after the alleged incident — but stated that the videos she deleted had nothing whatsoever to do with the case, and involved use of inappropriate language and drinking/partying.

When asked about how many images she had deleted, Unruh said “Not many … [just] a couple of things that concerned me and I spoke to Will about … I don’t know a mom out there who would not do that.”

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While Unruh was cooperative and composed, her husband was defensive and argumentative and was told by Barrett multiple times that he was in danger of being held in contempt of court.

“He did the case a great disservice,” former prosecutor Vince DeMore, a principal with Boston-based West Hill Associates who has been following the case, tells PEOPLE.

DeMore says that while the disappearance of the cell phone from the night of the alleged incident is important, the accuser pleading the fifth puts “the future of the case very much in doubt” and that a motion to dismiss could be filed before the hearing on July 31.

“The case rises and falls on the victim’s testimony,” he says. “If the victim doesn’t testify, then there is no case.”

The sexual assault accusation was first brought forward in November 2017 by Unruh when she publicly accused the actor of assaulting her then 18-year-old son at a bar in July 2016. The accusation came amid a flurry of other sexual misconduct allegations and claims that Spacey made unwanted sexual advances towards young male actors.

In police reports obtained by PEOPLE, Unruh’s son told authorities that he was “texting and snapchatting” when Spacey reached down his pants and repeatedly touched his genitals over the course of three minutes while they were together at the Nantucket bar, where the accuser worked as a busboy.

He also told investigators that he approached Spacey that night, wanting a photo, and proceeded to drink heavily with the actor — after lying about his age by saying he was a 23-year-old college student — before the alleged assault took place, according to the police reports.

The accuser said Spacey’s alleged touching went on for about three minutes and that he tried to move away, to no avail, according to the reports. He said that he fled when Spacey went to the bathroom.

News about the charge against Spacey broke the same day that the actor released a video — portraying his deceased House of Cards character, Frank Underwood — in which he alluded to the multiple sexual assault allegations against him, and maintained his innocence.

“Of course, some believed everything and have just been waiting with bated breath to hear me confess it all,” Spacey said in the video shared to his social channels. “They’re just dying to have me declare that everything said is true and that I got what I deserved. Wouldn’t that be easy if it was all so simple? Only you and I both know it’s never that simple, not in politics and not in life.”

He said, “I can promise you this: If I didn’t pay the price for the things we both know I did do, I’m certainly not going to pay the price for the things I didn’t do.”

In other Spacey news, the former House of Cards star was recently questioned by London’s Metropolitan Police over six separate allegations of sexual assault dating back to 1996. Scotland Yard detectives traveled to the U.S. to interview Spacey, but no charges have been filed.

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